Former Reagan adviser Pat Buchanan doesn't agree
with a recent poll that the 2013 Congress was the "worst ever," but he expects ideological war in the coming year.
"I think Washington has been worse at times," Buchanan said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
"The Truman-McCarthy era back in the 1950s. The Watergate era was very, very bad. But I do think this is a very tough time."
The ideological differences between the two parties are so severe and stark, there is "an institutionalized war" in the Congress, he said, and he doesn't see any relief in the coming year.
"I think the president's going to go to war with Congress," Buchanan said, adding that if he were advising President Barack Obama as a liberal Democrat he might advise him to do just that. A number of issues are on the table where Obama's "feet are in concrete" ideologically.
The president won't cave on the debt ceiling, and he realizes the country is behind him on a modified amnesty plan, so he'll try to split Republicans on it, Buchanan said. Obama also will try to restore longer-term unemployment benefits as well as raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, he predicted.
But the upcoming midterm election year isn't all good news
for Democrats, he said.
"Republicans think they're riding Secretariat in the Derby with Obamacare," Buchanan said. "And they may well be."
Things look so good for Republicans with the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, that they may be reluctant to do battle on those issues where Obama has popular standing, he said. Republicans saw their approval ratings plummet in October after fighting Obama on the budget.
That said, Buchanan believes Republicans should stand firm.
There is an enormous middle that doesn't think about politics and wants to see everyone get along, Buchanan said, but the two sides are too deeply committed for that to happen.
"I don't see any change," he said. "I think we're going to have more of the same, only more so."
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